October 2, 2019 / 2:32 PM / 17 days ago

UK Brexit proposal removes Irish backstop, says avoids Irish border checks

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson gestures as he gives a closing speech at the Conservative Party annual conference in Manchester, Britain, October 2, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain on Wednesday proposed creating an all-island regulatory zone in Ireland to cover all goods and a commitment to avoid border checks or physical infrastructure in a bid to break the Brexit deadlock.

In its proposals to the European Union on how to deal with the Irish border after Brexit, Britain suggested a zone of regulatory compliance across Northern Ireland and the EU to eliminate checks for trade in goods.

Before the end of a transition period after Brexit in December 2020, the Northern Ireland assembly and executive would be required to give their consent to this arrangement and every four years afterwards, the document said.

Northern Ireland would stay part of the United Kingdom’s customs territory but to avoid customs checks, a declaration system would be introduced with a simplified process for small traders, along with a trusted-traders scheme.

The document said the proposals would ensure the integrity of the European Union Single Market and would be in keeping with the 1998 Good Friday peace deal which largely ended three decades of sectarian strife in the province.

“It is, as such, a proposal for an agreement which should be acceptable to both sides,” it concluded.

Reporting by Michael Holden; editing by Stephen Addison

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